Abolishing ICE Becomes Rallying Call for Members of Democratic Party

Abolishing ICE Becomes Rallying Call for Members of Democratic Party

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Thursday night that she doesn't think U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement "is working as intended".

"I am pleased that ICE will continue to be led by an experienced and well-respected career law enforcement officer who will be a strong advocate for the agency's workforce", she added.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old former bartender who suddenly rose to prominence after defeating Rep. Joe Crowley in a New York Democratic congressional primary last week, started the calls to abolish ICE.

His final tweet late Saturday read: 'When people come into our Country illegally, we must IMMEDIATELY escort them back out without going through years of legal maneuvering.

For months, activists have been calling for the dissolution of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the government agency now responsible for carrying out the Trump administration's racist "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

Once relegated to a fringe philosophy on the far-left of the Democratic Party base, suggestions to outright dismantle ICE entirely and to immediately press for the impeachment of President Donald Trump have started to enter the mainstream leftist lexicon as American political polarization deepens.

The letter informed the Trump administration that stepped-up enforcement against families seeking asylum in the U.S. had detracted from the fight against violent criminal elements.

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"Just trying to stop ICE, really, and abolish that whole system, peacefully though", Kelly Bower, another protestor, said.

Right-wing activists with the group Patriot Prayer also have a permit to march later in the day Saturday and the Portland Police Bureau said Friday they planned to have a heavy police presence. But the family separation policy has been a watershed for attracting a broader spectrum of demonstrators, she said.

Their focus, Alex said, should be on "stopping the long-standing culture of corruption" in US immigration policy and "the appalling practices" of the Trump administration, not on a move that by itself "amounts to rebranding".

President Donald Trump has slammed the idea of abolishing ICE. According to Trump, the abolition of ICE "will never happen". "I saw the brutality and inhumanity and absolute cruelty of these policies", he said.

Meanwhile, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's stance that ICE should be abolished has gained prominence since her longshot victory in Tuesday's Democratic congressional primary over U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley in NY.

"We should protect families that need our help, and thats not what ICE is doing today", she said. "The city of Portland does not enforce federal immigration law, and I have been clear that Portland police will not be used to break up a nonviolent occupation on federal property of a federal agency that has its own police force". ICE agents "are the guys that go in and take MS-13, and they take them out", said Trump, referring to the violent Salvadoran gang, during an interview with Fox News.